Author Archives: Jesse Parker

Smoky Eggplant Dip

Ingredients 

  • 2 medium eggplants (about 1 pound each)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt, or to taste
  • 6 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste), well-stirred if a new container
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced or pressed
  • Juice of 1 lemon, plus more to taste, if desired
  • Pinch of cayenne or aleppo pepper
  • Pinch or two of ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons well-chopped flat-leaf parsley, divided
  • Toasted sesame seeds or za’atar for garnish

Instructions 

Heat oven to 375°F. Brush a baking sheet or roasting pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Prick eggplants a few times with a fork or tip of a knife. Over a gas flame, grill or under a broiler, evenly char the skin of your eggplants. I like mine quite smoky and like to leave no purple visible. Transfer to a cutting board, and when cool enough to handle, trim off stem and cut lengthwise. Place cut side down on prepared baking sheet and roast for 30 to 35 minutes, until very, very tender when pressed. Let cool to room temperature.

In a blender or food processor: Scrape eggplant flesh from skin and into the work bowl. Add tahini, lemon, cayenne, cumin and 1 tablespoon parsley. Blend in short bursts (pulses) until combined but still coarsely chopped.

By hand: Scrape eggplant flesh from skin and onto a cutting board. Finely chop the eggplant, leaving some bits closer to pea-sized. In a bowl, whisk together tahini, garlic, lemon, cayenne, cumin and half the parsley. Add chopped eggplant and stir to combine.

Both methods: Taste and adjust ingredients if needed. I usually need more salt and lemon.

To serve: Spoon into a bowl and drizzle with remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Scatter with second tablespoon of parsley, and some toasted sesame seeds or za’atar, if desired. Serve with pita wedges.

For a big delicious summer meal, you could serve this with a tomato-cucumber salad.

Source

Smitten Kitchen

CSA Pick-up: August 6-10

Summer harvest is in full swing! Here is our list for the week:

  • Cucumber
  • Summer Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Kale
  • Beans
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Spicy Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Corn
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Heirloom tomatoes

Also available for PYO this week is:

  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Flowers
  • Herbs

We also have peaches available for purchase! A bag of 3 for $2.00 is the shareholder price.

 

See you on the farm!

CSA Pick-up: July 30- August 3

A bountiful pickup awaits you this week!! Also starting this week we will have Pick-your-own (PYO) Cherry Tomatoes!

  • Cherry Tomatoes (PYO)
  • Cucumber
  • Summer Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Kale
  • Beans
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Spicy Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Corn
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Sunflowers

Currently we are looking for people to bring in some cardboard boxes for our food pantry drop offs. If anybody has some medium sized cardboard boxes, we would greatly appreciate the donation.

Please remember that if you cannot make it on a certain week, we invite you to send a friend, family member, or neighbor to collect your share. If you cannot find someone and you could pick up your share on a different distribution day in that same week, with advance notice, we can switch your pick-up day for that week. We must receive an email at moosehillcsa@massaudubon.org by at least noon the day before your regularly scheduled pick-up time (no phone calls). The email should include the distribution day you wish to switch to within that week.

Have other questions, check out our frequently asked questions section on our website or email us at moosehillcsa@massaudubon.org.

Storage tips: Corn, Eggplant, Tomato

Corn:

Corn, if not eaten right away, is best kept in the refrigerator for up to two days. Keep the corn in the husk and place in the crisper drawer of your fridge.  After two days, the corn will still be okay to eat, but it will start to lose some of its sweet flavors. Your ears of corn can also be stored frozen.  To freeze corn first remove the husks and then boil for a few minutes. remove from boiling water, place in a freezer safe container and store for up to a year.

Eggplant:

The best way to store eggplant is at room temperature in a vented bowl, and away from other produce such as bananas, tomatoes, and melons. These are known for producing high levels of ethylene, a natural gas produced by some ripening fruit. Eggplant is sensitive to this and if it is exposed it can cause your eggplant to over ripen and lose some of its texture and flavor.

Tomatoes:

Tomatoes should be stored at room temperature, potentially in a vented bowl of some sort, and NOT in the refrigerator.  Tomatoes are naturally a warm climate crop and placing them in a cool environment causes them to undergo chemical enzymatic reactions that lead to a lose of flavor and texture. If you can not consume your fresh vine ripened tomatoes in time, it is okay to place them in the fridge, but before consuming, consider placing them back in a warmer temperature area for a bit to regain some of the flavor.

 

References:

Corn: How to store corn, by Melissa Lewis; September 21, 2017

Eggplant: The Best Place to Store Eggplant is not in the Refrigerator, by Emily Han; August 12, 2015

Tomato: How to Keep Tomatoes Fresh for Longer, by Lindsey Jean-Hard; August 29, 2017

Eggplant Casserole

This is a family recipe that came from one of our farm hand’s, Mel, grandmother and is a nice quick and easy meal that the whole family will enjoy.

 

Eggplant Casserole

Ingredients:

·         1/3 cup of vegetable oil

·         1 medium eggplant cut into 1” pieces

·         3/4 cup of chopped onion

·         1 Teaspoon minced Garlic

·         1 stalk of celery chopped into 1” pieces

·         1 20 oz can chickpeas drained

·         1 can tomatoes

·         1 teaspoon oregano

·         Toasted sesame seeds

 

Directions:

1.      Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat

2.      Add eggplant, onion, garlic

3.      Cook, stirring often, until eggplant is brown and slightly soft about 5 mins

4.      Stir in remaining ingredients except sesame seeds

5.      Cover and cook for 30 minutes stirring occasionally until eggplant is tender

6.      Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds

CSA Pick-up: July 16-20

The crops are starting to shift and we have some new additions this week with more on the way! Here is what you might see available this week:

  • Sweet Peppers
  • Zucchini and Squash
  • Kale
  • Arugula
  • Radishes
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Swiss Chard
  • Beans
  • Cucumbers
  • Potatoes

We also will be giving out some sunflowers that popped up in our field next to some of our other crops that were a surprise! They were not intentionally planted, they came up from previous years seeds spreading so enjoy their beauty while they last.

Also a reminder that if you need to switch your pick-up day, you must do so via email (moosehillcsa@massaudubon.org) and you must be switching to another distribution day. We only do distribution on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 4-7pm.

Thank you to everyone who has donated towels, we have plenty to last the season now. If we need more we will let everyone know but we should be all set for a while.

CSA Pick-Up: July 9-13

Greetings Shareholders! Here is what you can might see for pickup this week:

  • Radishes
  • Scapes
  • Kale
  • Arugula
  • Broccoli
  • Green Beans
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Onions
  • Tatsoi
  • Swiss Chard

 

As the season progresses, we may periodically need to make changes to what you receive at distribution – it’s hard to fully predict that we will have exactly the same things available Monday and Friday (a lot can change in a week in the fields) but for the most part, the list is what you can most likely expect.

 

Reminder: If you need to switch your pick-up day in a week, we kindly ask to know, by email, by at least noon the day before. This allows us to adjust for how much we are harvesting and the names that need to be listed for the evening distribution with enough notice to accommodate everyone. Thank you!

 

 

CSA Update: Cilantro tips and other news

Now that you have received your cilantro, you may be wondering what exactly to do with it and how to take proper care.

  • Cilantro likes full sun and moist soil, so water often, especially in this heat. If you are leaving your cilantro in the cup we gave it to you, set it in another bowl or Tupperware of some sort so that the water does not leak through and make a mess
  • Prune back the main stem as soon as it begins to develop its flower to prevent it from bolting and losing flavor.  Cilantro bolts readily in heat so be ready for this and make sure you are watering often
  • To harvest your cilantro trim back the top leaves and use them for cooking. This also encourages bushier growth.

In other news, we are all working hard to fight back the weeds and continue to grow healthy crops.  The heat has definitely been an obstacle lately so work early in the mornings is the best time to get this done. Some of our crops have not been doing well from our hot and dry spring.  This past rainstorm was much needed and hopefully more is on the way.

Heat is not the only obstacle either. We are also fighting a consistent fight against the Colorado Potato Beetle and the Cucumber beetle by squishing their eggs and now at this point their larva.  Crops that has been struggling from any detriment, like our cucumbers and squash, usually get a “second planting” in another location in our field so we have a second chance on them this season.

We appreciate your continued support and we hope you are enjoying this rollercoaster of a season as much as we are.

See you on the farm!

CSA Pick-Up: July 2-6

Greetings Shareholders and Happy Independence Day!  We have a nice healthy pick-up for you this week which may include:

  • Peas (PYO)
  • Strawberries
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Kale
  • Radishes
  • Arugula
  • Lettuce
  • Swiss Chard
  • Carrots
  • Squash
  • Cucumbers

Also our weekend Farm Stand is officially up and running on weekends from 12-2 pm right out of the barn at 4 Moose Hill Street. If you (or a friend) are looking for more fresh produce, come on by and see what we have available for purchase. The Farm Stand Harvest will be similar to your weekly pick-up list.

Questions? Check our FAQ, and our website for more info or email us at moosehillcsa@massaudubon.org.